Posts tagged B Vitamins

Nutrition to Balance Hormones That Affect Your Mood

Nutrition to Balance Hormones That Affect Your Mood
From Herbal Papaya Newsletter – http://www.herbalpapaya.com

Now that summer is on the way, you’re undoubtedly ready to get outside and start doing “summer things.” You’ve probably noticed that you’re feeling better and that your mood is a bit more buoyant.

That’s not just a coincidence; vitamin D deficiency has been linked solidly to being moody, and sunshine is the only natural source of vitamin D. Therefore, when you’re out getting plenty of it, it’s entirely possible that your mood improves, too!

You may be surprised how much a healthy diet contributes to balanced hormones and helps with your mood, but there’s plenty of solid research to back up the theory that you are what you eat.

B vitamins are also being studied for their link with unhappy mood. Specifically B12, and to a lesser degree B6 and folate, have been linked strongly to feeling sad. This is a particular concern for vegetarians and vegans because B12 is found almost exclusively in animal products. Supplementation is necessary for that part of the population.

Vitamin C has historically been known as the vitamin that boosts the immune system. However, people who are unhappy often report significant boosts in mood after taking vitamin C. The studies here are fairly new but are promising.

One particular group of nutrients called carotenoids are linked significantly to brain, prostate, heart, eye and mental health. Carotenoids are phytonutrients found in yellow, red and orange fruits and vegetables and are powerful antioxidants. Some, but not all, convert to vitamin A in the body. Others, such as lycopene, may not convert but are still extremely valuable for their ability to bond to free radicals and help keep you healthy.

For instance, the minerals zinc and magnesium are being closely studied in relation to brain health. Both seem to play significant, though largely mysterious, roles in assisting with mood chemical production and uptake in the brain. A notable percentage of people who suffer from mood swings are found to be deficient in one or both of these minerals.

The carotenoids lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin were studied in a group of almost 1800 people age 20-85. People with the highest levels of circulating carotenoids were a whopping 37% less likely to suffer from mood swings than those who had low levels.

A Japanese study of men only showed that men with the highest levels of carotenoids were an astounding 67% less likely to suffer from mood issues than those with the lowest levels. The studies are piling up.

Carotenoids are found in high amounts in foods that are bright orange, yellow, red or green such as:

sweet potatoes
papayas
red peppers
mangos
green leafy veggies
carrots
squash
dried apricots
cantaloupe

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Coconut Secret – Low Glycemic Coconut Products

Coconut Secret – Low Glycemic Coconut Products

The company, Coconut Secret, has “tapped” into a way to create great products made from the sap of coconut that are natural alternatives to traditional products on the market. To me, they are above board then even some of the “natural” products you see in health food stores and supermarkets. Some, of course, are better then others and some, I see as being worse for you then eating dirt or grass from your yard. So, “all products are not created equal,” in my humble opinion.

The owners, Leslie and Randy, found a personal need for their family and decided to create their own products because there were none on the market that met their expectations. As the saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention.” They took this opportunity and ran with it and I am happy that these products came about because they are not only good for you, but they also taste good! You can forget about your traditional soy sauces, vinegars, honey and sugars because these products from Coconut Secret, in my opinion, will eliminate the conventional unhealthy ones from your pantry.

Coconut Secret does everything right and never cut corners in making their products. Most products (except for some of their chocolate bars that have dairy and not 100% organic) are 100% Organic, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Non-GMO, Kosher and no MSG in their soy-free seasoning sauce.

The benefits of using the sap of the coconut blossoms is that it’s very low glycemic in and of itself and also rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, minerals, amino acids and close to a neutral pH.

Another thing I am very pleased that the company opted to do when making their products, is to use glass bottles and not plastic. We all know that plastic, even the supposed non-toxic ones that are called BPA-free, likely still have some chemical components that may leach into the product. I have never personally had a BPA-free container tested for what it is made of in a lab, but it would be interesting to know that. Perhaps that can be researched further by “googling” it. I am not a “fan” of using plastics at all. I do understand that not all products can be packed in glass for various reasons, including cost, safety, etc. To me glass is the best option for a number of reasons: 1- no leaching of chemicals into food from plastic and the fact that it’s sitting in the plastic for who knows how long while it is sitting on the shelf in the store, 2- you can reuse the glass bottles or jars for many different purposes: food, gifting something to others, using as your water bottle and if nothing else, recycle it, 3- my opinion is that they have a better shelf-life, as well, 4- the food in the glass is much healthier for you, because why would/how could you want to make an organic product and then house them in plastic? To me, that is similar to buying fresh, healthy, ripe and organic produce and then washing it with chemically-laden tap water. Another example would be someone who was told they needs to exercise for health, so they decide to ride a bicycle, but smoke a cigarette while doing so. I think you get the message. Glass is best! I would go so far as to say, I never buy “plastic” water, because even if it is pure water, it has still been living in plastic for who knows how long and chemicals have been leaching into it. My tip to you: when traveling by plane and you can not take a glass or stainless water bottle, do not buy plastic water. The best bet, is to take produce that is rich in structured water that will hydrate you and also provide you with other beneficial vitamins and minerals. Some suggestions: apples, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, kiwis, melons, peaches, plums, nectarines, pears, celery, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers.

Also, their products has simple easy to read and understand ingredients that you do not need a degree in chemistry or the like to understand. The 3 coconut products I discuss here, are actually only made of one ingredient, that being coconut sap from the coconut blossoms (except for the coconut aminos that adds sea salt).

The 3 products I review here are:
Raw Coconut Vinegar, Raw Coconut Nectar and Coconut Aminos.

1) Raw Coconut Vinegar: This product is by far better tasting then any vinegar I have had in the past, including apple cider, umeboshi plum and rice vinegar. It smells exactly like traditional apple cider vinegar, in my opinion, and has higher nutritional value then similar products in its amino acid, vitamin and mineral content.

It also has the added benefit of being a great source of FOS – fructooligosaccharides – which is a prebiotic that feeds/promotes the growth of “good” intestinal bacteria, which are in fruits and vegetables, including, apples, pears, garlic, onion and asparagus (which differs from a probiotic, which is the “good”/beneficial gut bacteria that aids in intestinal/digestive health, such as found in foods like sauerkraut, miso, kefir, kimchi and kombucha). So, it taste yummy plus you improve your digestion – what a great concept! You can sprinkle it on your salad, add it to dressings, marinades, to season rice for sushi, in spreads, sauces and patés. It can also be used for cleansing internally, as well as skincare.

The reason it is called “raw,” is because it’s processed without any heat and therefore, is also rich in enzymes. It is made in small batches, which means it is fresher and they have more control over the results. This vinegar is naturally aged for 8 months to 1 year to give it the distinct flavor, which does not taste coconutty at all! It also does not need any refrigeration.

2) Raw Coconut Nectar: This is one of the best alternatives to sweeteners on the market today. If you want a product that pours like honey, is as sweet as any other sweetener, can be used in all your desserts, does not need refrigeration, and is safe for diabetics, has a low glycemic index, then this is the product you ought to buy and use regularly!

There are so many products on the market today if you have a “sweet tooth,” and the majority are made with unnatural, chemically processed ingredients, colored with carcinogenic dyes and then use products like aspartame, splenda, nutrasweet – which are actually all the same thing and produced by Monsanto. If you are not aware of them, they produce r-BGH [bovine growth hormone] milk, and GMO [genetically modified organisms] foods which have already proven to not help with the hunger issue in the world and also cause the plants to need to be sprayed with more pesticides, herbicides, etc. The yield are usually lower and animal fed GMO feed have developed all kinds of problems/illnesses/diseases and when they are fed non-GMO feed the problems all go away. If you would like to do your own experiment to see what happens, take an organic corn on the cob and conventionally grown corn on the cob [which is more likely then not to be GMO] and put them both outside and put a popsicle stick in the ground next to each one and write organic and conventional to distinguish the two of them. Then see which one gets mostly eaten by the birds and creatures. This will tell you a lot! Besides the fact, that if the companies decide to inject something into the seed that you may be deathly allergic to, such as peanut, soy, etc, you will never know.

Now you know why to stay away from the chemical products on the market, but even the supposed “natural” sweeteners may not be good for hypoglycemic and diabetic people, of which their is a very large population of the world in these categories, including very young children.

Their have been an influx of products using agave nectar, especially with raw food snack products, which are better for you, but adding agave changes that and it is tauted as being a better/healthier alternative. Most people do not know that it is actually worse or on par with HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) which causes numerous health problems. I will have an article on my blog coming up in the future that discusses this subject. So you know, it is not raw, is highly processed and high glycemic, which is not good for anyone, even if you do not have any issues with your pancreas, but over time, it could lead to it. I was even surprised that a company I know who bottles the best raw organic coconut water, in my opinion, are using agave as a sweetener in their raw tea! They already have access to the coconuts, so why aren’t they using the coconut nectar from the blossoms or contacting Coconut Secret to use their nectar? I hope to get in touch with the company soon, so this can be remedied!

3) Coconut Aminos: Are you still using Kikkoman, Braggs or any of the other soy sauces on the market? So you know, most soy is GMO (as explained above) and even with the ones that say organic, there is still the issue of cross-contamination if it was planted in a field where there are other gluten crops growing or grown in soil that was previously used to grow gluten crops (i.e. wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, etc). This is an issue, especially for those who have gluten sensitivities/intolerance or celiac disease, but even for though of us who are staying away from gluten, as a preventative measure, because gluten, can reck havoc on the body, which specifically begins in the colon (where the health of the body begins) and cause numerous health problems. Think of the word gluten – sounds like glue and who wants something in their body that acts like glue, I don’t! That is why this is the perfect alternative to soy sauce and has a similar flavor without the soy. You can use it on your salads, in stews, dressings, sauces, bean dishes, etc.

Coconut Secret also sells other great coconut products, such as coconut flour, coconut sugar, etc and you can check them all out on their website: http://www.coconutsecret.com

Also check out my video review: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

In closing, I hope that all markets/stores, in time will only carry products such as sold by Coconut Secret. A lot of companies can learn from them (and I wish they would) as to how to make great products for health and not compromise or “cave in” to cut corners based on their own selfish needs or being pressured by governmental “hounds” as opposed to the concerns and long term benefits to the people and the planet. They have their priorities right and straight! A big thank you and gratitude always!

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Q & A Series: People, Products and The Health of Our Planet – Interview with Shannon Schnibbe, Co-Founder and C.E.O. of Sister River Foods

For the nineteenth interview, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Shannon Schnibbe, Co-Founder and C.E.O. of Sister River Foods maker of Parma-Vegan Parmesan in business since 2004

Question #1: Tell me briefly about yourself and why you decided to get involved in the “health” industry?

I have severe allergies and have tried many different ways of eating to give me relief. I was turned onto organic food, a new way of eating (now called ‘raw’), and health food stores in 1990 by a student of Ann Wigmore. In 2000, while living in Chicago and an L Train ride away from Karyn’s Fresh Corner (her pervious raw food restaurant), I went all raw and starting making what is now Parma! I have a B.S. in Business Management, have worked at various businesses. I moved to Oregon and when I got pregnant with my first baby, we decided to start bottling my “cheesey stuff”, and along with our family, Parma! was born.

Question #2: If you were stranded on a desert island and were allowed to take only 5 items with you (they can be food, books or specific products that are all health-related), what would they be and why?

Organic dark chocolate with sea salt, Parma!, chia seeds & coconut water – that about covers it.

Question #3: What one message do you want to share with the people of this world that is crucial for their ultimate well-being and longevity?

Forgive yourself, learn from your mistakes and evolve, forgive others, remember we are all one, practice your (Iyengar) yoga, be here now, and know that, according to Marshall Rosenberg of Non-Violent Communication, that you can heal someone by really hearing what they are saying to you.

Questions #4: If someone could afford to purchase only one product at this moment to start their journey towards better health (food or health-related), what would you recommend and why?

Parma! of course. Parma! gives you that cheesey flavor without all the dairy baggage. It is an excellent food source of high quality vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, omega 3’s, trace minerals, all the goodness of hemp, and it tastes great!

Question #5: Tell me more about your business/company and/or products you offer to the public to help them achieve optimal health and well-being?

Parma! is an excellent food source of high quality vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, omega 3’s, trace minerals, all the goodness of hemp, and it tastes great!

Question #6: What are your hopes/aspirations/dreams for the future health of the people and the planet?

Remember that we are the care takers of this planet and all things on it, not the masters. It is our responsibility to ensure a healthy and bright future for our children and our animal and plant friends for seven generations to come.

Question #7: Who is your greatest hero and why?

There are so many. A couple that pop into my head are Ani DiFranco. She is so brave. She has made it on her terms so eloquently, with a beauty that moves. Another is Franklin Roosevelt — I recently watched part of the PBS show on him. He did so many great things standing up to the powers that be, was will to let go of things that didn’t work, and he did it as a “cripple”. Would anyone with a disability like that make it into office right now?

Question #8: Is there anything else you would like to share with the public?

Thank you for your support, and for giving Parma! a try — sharing it with your friends. We hope you enjoy it. We wish you health and happiness!

Question #9: I know that there are variables as to how much food/calories each person consumes when eating raw vegan food (based on many lifestyle factors, etc), but is there a basic guideline you would recommend for everyone?

I will just say that too much of anything is not a good thing, vary your diet.

For more information on this company and all their products, go to: http://www.sisterriverfoods.com or http://www.eatparma.com

Also, check out my video review of some of their products on my youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

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